GUWAHATI: Leader of the Opposition, Debabrata Saikia today expressed concern in the House over the problems faced by small tea growers (STGs) and the fact that some tea garden owners were selling off their tea gardens. He said that when tea gardens are sold, the tea labourers working in those tea gardens face uncertainity and a multitude of issues.
State Industry and Commerce Minister Bimal Borah informed the House that there were around 762 big tea gardens in Assam and 1,25,000 STGs. He said that due to various reasons, some tea garden owners were selling off their gardens. “When new owners take over, they bring with them new ideas for the development of the tea gardens. This in turn leads to the progress of the tea labourers. Sale of tea gardens will not have any negative impact on the tea industry,” said the minister.
Regarding the STGs, Borah said that they play a pivotal role in the development of the Assam tea industry. “However, some STGs do not maintain the quality of the green tea leaves. As a result, the quality of the tea made from these green tea leaves is also not maintained. So we are laying focus on mechanization. Awards have been instituted for STGs and the government is giving subsidy to STGs to start factories. Workshops are being conducted for STGs,” said Borah.
He appealed to all stakeholders to come up with new initiatives for the development of Assam tea.